Monday, January 16, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Washington Foundation gives $450,000 grant to help Montana's 'Graduation Matters' campaign
Great Falls Tribune, Montana – January 11, 2012
Montana's Office of Public Instruction got a big boost to its "Graduation Matters" initiative thanks to a $450,000 grant from a private foundation.  The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation announced Wednesday that OPI will be given the grant over three years to support a statewide network of locally designed, community-driven efforts to increase the number of Montana students who graduate from high school and to reduce the dropout rate.

LAUSD program gives students alternative way to graduate
Contra Costa Times, Reseda, CA – January 13, 2012
Devon Leonard was missing.  The teen hadn't shown up on the first day of classes at Panorama High School. Days went by, and still no one named Devon appeared in the seats of English composition or U.S. government classes.

Proficiency-based learning gaining popularity for its focus on knowledge
Statesman Journal, Redmond, OR – January 15, 2012
It doesn't take long to see that Redmond Proficiency Academy isn't your typical high school.  Students freely come and go from the three-story office building in downtown Redmond, just north of Bend. Some attend morning classes, others opt for afternoon or a mix of both when they build their schedules, similar to the way college students pick their classes. The freedom allows students to work jobs, stay on top of homework or even develop independent classes based on interests.

Juvenile Justice

Boys & Girls Clubs receives $600k+ to help juvenile offenders
Ventura County Star, Ventura County, CA – January 10, 2012
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme aims to reduce repeat crimes among juvenile offenders in Ventura County by merging two pilot projects into a new program.   The nonprofit received $609,232 from the Department of Justice to create RAMP, a Reentry Aftercare Mentoring Program, which will provide mentoring to incarcerated teens in the group’s Juvenile Justice Facility program so they are prepared to reenter the community and avoid committing further crimes.

Drug court, arts program giving kids a chance at a clean slate
The Herald, Washington – January 15, 2012
The molten glass came alive as it was pulled from the red-hot furnace on the end of a steel pole, oozing like honey from a hive.  For a couple of hours, the kids explored words and art. What brought them there didn't matter. They were connecting with two adults who patiently opened doors for them to step through.

Foster Care

New state law gives foster youth time to bloom
The San Francisco Examiner, California – January 8, 2012
Timajae Evans spent his teenage years in foster care, moving from one group home to another. When he aged out of the system at 19, he had to grow up fast.  Evans, now 20, lives by himself in a Daly City apartment. He is taking general studies courses at City College of San Francisco and hopes to become an auto mechanic.

Children Shelter of the Upstate helping young women go to college
Go Upstate, Spartanburg, SC – January 10, 2012
The Children Shelter of the Upstate has launched a program to help those overcoming difficult pasts work toward brighter futures.  The transitional living program is for young women who have “aged out” of the foster care system and want to pursue higher education.

Teen Pregnancy

Conn. high school clinic to offer condoms, birth control pills
MSNBC, New London, CT – January, 12, 2012
The health center at New London High School already diagnoses and treats sexually transmitted diseases and provides pregnancy tests. Soon, it will also be handing out birth control.   Supt. Nicholas Fischer told the Day that providing contraceptives in the school would help address the high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease among New London teens.

Coalitions of interest
 Prevention Action, Chicago, IL – January 11, 2012
"The aim of the first therapeutic session,” child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott has suggested, “must always be to get a second one.” It is a sentiment that anyone working in difficult neighbourhoods with reluctant clients, where the main problem is not so much arousing interest and commitment but maintaining it, will be all too familiar with.  Barbara Goldberg and her colleagues were faced with this very challenge when they were charged with implementing a teenage pregnancy prevention program in a tough district of Chicago. Cynics warned them that while most young people would probably listen, they would soon drift away.  The project was part of the wider FOCUS (Families in Our Community United for Success) program designed to build relationships between young people, parents, schools, community members and professionals to encourage healthy choices about sexual activity.

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